Friday, January 30, 2015

Prayer diary Friday 30 2015 (Day of Discipline and Self-denial)

'The kingdom of God, … is like a mustard seed ... the smallest of all the seeds ... yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs.' 
Mark 4. 30-32

Christ knew that the Church he founded would grow from its small beginnings to encompass the whole world. This wondrous growth also takes place in each individual; God will make great the seed of faith in the humble soul that meekly welcomes him in.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Prayer diary Thursday 29 January 2015

‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’ 
Mark 4.24, 25

Christ calls his followers to be attentive to his teaching and active in living them out. Great are the rewards to those who heed his words: spiritual blessings in this life to help you persevere; and in the next the joy of being in God's presence forever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prayer diary Wednesday 28 January 2015

'Others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word.' 
Mark 4. 18,19

The things of this world can be temptations that lure us away from salvation. We need many of them (but not all) in order that we may live; but when they become the reason for our life then we run the risk of forfeiting eternal life for the sake of such as does not last.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How, then, shall we repay the Lord?

'How, then, shall we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He is so good that he asks no recompense except our love: that is the only payment he desires. To confess my personal feelings, when I reflect on all these blessings I am overcome by a kind of dread and numbness at the very possibility of ceasing to love God and of bringing shame upon Christ because of my lack of recollection and my preoccupation with trivialities.'

St Basil the Great

Prayer diary Tuesday 27 January 2015

Looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’ 
Mark 3.34,35

Christ does not denigrate his mother in any way by these words; for we know from her 'thy will be done,' recorded in Luke, that she is the most obedient of all creatures to God's will. Rather he spoke that we might know the wonders that await those who faithfully follow Him.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Prayer diary Monday 26 January 2015

The scribes … said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’And he called them to him ...‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.'
Mark 3.22-24

Reflection Jesus' words reminds of the reality of the demonic and his power over that realm. And we are also reminded that there are always among us those who feel threatened or challenged by Christ's Gospel and will attempt to portray it as evil.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Examin Sunday 25 Jan 2015

Some take our Lord's declaration that the Sabbath was made for man too far, to the point where the Lord's day becomes all but indistinguishable from any other day of the week. Jesus spoke to protect people from the kind of legalism that acted to prevent people from looking after their basic human needs or showing compassion to others in the name of keeping the Sabbath. He was using his authority as the Son of God to ensure the correct interpretation of the law, not, as he said elsewhere, to abolish it. There was no suggestion in his words that the Lord's day should cease to be a day of rest or a day of worship. Those who use his words as an excuse to treat the Sabbath as if it were any other day risk falling into the same kind of legalism Christ strove to set aside.